What makes The Ultimate Sportsman’s Retreat? At Ball and Buck, we’ve spent more than a few weekends discovering hidden away sanctuaries across the country, making it difficult to pinpoint a favorite.
As we were asking the question of where to visit next, we received a personal invite from esteemed architect and loyal customer, Keith Summerour, to join him for a peaceful getaway at his iconic home in Southern Georgia.
An avid sportsman and highly skilled architect, Keith has built his own private country residence reinterpreting the idea of “the home.” Incorporating the surrounding landscape and history of the property, Keith has built The Ultimate Sportsman’s Retreat complete with iconic architecture and rustic charm.
The most notable feature of Keith’s estate is the main building, an impressive 70-foot-high stone tower. Known as a shot tower, which is how they used to make bullets back in the old days, the building is made up of five floors, each with an even more incredible view than the last.
Inspired by the Summers he spent working on his grandparent’s dairy farm, Keith recalled climbing to the top of the silo and taking in the countryside as a youngster. Utilizing those fond childhood memories and combining them with his passion as a Sportsman, Keith has built an impressive refuge.
Keith recently published his second book, Creating Home: Design for Living, in which he explores the architecture, interiors, and grounds of nine houses explains his unique method of design, referring to it as working “from the garden to the house, not the other way around.”
Believing a building should grow out of the land organically instead of simply inserting itself into the existing landscape, Keith has a unique approach to design, and it becomes most evident when visiting his own home and experiencing the personality of the estate first-hand.
The interior of a house is just as important as the exterior, especially when it comes to Keith's own personal sanctuary. His goal is to allow a home to be welcoming and inviting so guests can “relax and stay awhile,” preferring the inside of the home to be “well thought out functionally but not so much that it repels character.”
An important emphasis when designing a building is the experience of the architecture; namely, how it feels more than just the design and materials. Keith wants his homes to feel real and comfortable so “the house responds to the way that people really live versus the way people think they should live.”
Drawing on his own Southern heritage, Keith integrates his own appreciation for the environment to develop a home that is intimate and empathetic with its surroundings. As a result, Keith makes it an intentional effort to utilize the existing materials in his design so the structure naturally fits into the landscape. This harmony with nature allows the home to become a part of the peaceful environment itself.
When looking for inspiration, Keith recalls the rustic and iconic buildings of the old South, such as the fishing cabins and barns he grew up seeing. He considers them to continue existing in the classical realm having been hand built for functional use.
In his own words, "They are not refined, but that makes them even that much more interesting. I think of classicism like the keys on the piano. No one has ever found all the combinations and we never will."
When we asked Keith how his home makes him feel, he shared, "I have learned to adjust myself to my home's personality, just as I might accept the quirks of a special, appealingly complicated friend."
We hope you enjoyed tagging along as we explored The Ultimate Sportsmans Retreat. Make sure not to miss our previous journal Field Notes Q&A | Keith Summerour to learn more about what inspires him in his career and hear what connects him to the brand we’ve built.
Take a look at some of Keith's favorite Ball and Buck gear and the outfits he wore during our visit in our Sportsmans Guide | Field to City.
Special thank you to Keith Summerour for being such a great host and congratulations on the new book, Creating Home: Design for Living.